The Class of 2023 Loves Fall

by Alana Simrell, Jenna Iorio, Kara Moulton, Marie DeCarlo, Katherine Commale, Kayla Flanders and Lillie Bennett

As a chill enters the air and fall starts to announce itself, the McNulty Class of 2023 naturally thinks of their favorite autumn activities in Philadelphia and beyond.  While this year’s season might look a little different than usual, we can all draw inspiration from their traditions and look forward to a future full of fun fall activities.

Alana Simrell (Computer Science/Mathematics): With its perfect temperatures and beautiful scenery, fall is by far my favorite time of the year. The thing I look forward to most when October comes around is a tradition that my family calls the Great Pumpkin Party. Every year for as long as I can remember, my aunt and uncle have hosted a big Halloween party for all of my cousins. This celebration includes costumes, games, candy, prizes and, most importantly, the Great Pumpkin, which is basically the largest pumpkin that they can find. During the party, the younger kids come up with various designs for how to carve it, and at the end of the night, we combine all the designs and carve the pumpkin together. I love this celebration because it is not only a lot of fun for people of all ages, but it also gives the opportunity for all of my family to gather and spend time together. Though it sadly may not happen this year because of COVID 19, the Great Pumpkin Party will always be one of my favorite parts of the season.

Jenna Iorio (Mathematics): Fall at Saint Joseph’s University really is a special time of the year. The past few weeks, I have been trying to spend as much time as possible outside before it starts to get too chilly. I love grabbing Starbucks and sitting outside the library to catch up on some of my assignments while enjoying the weather and amazing foliage. I also love going into Manayunk with my friends to grab dinner and walk around the neighborhood. Since the restaurants have mostly outside seating, the street is beautifully lit. It is so much fun to walk up and down the streets with a hot chocolate, Insomnia Cookies and a cozy sweater!

Kara Moulton (Chemical Biology): Fall is a great time to get to know Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Saint Joe’s location makes it so easy to take a break from the city for a few hours and go somewhere a little quieter, like Linvilla Orchards. The farm encompasses apple orchards, a corn maze, pumpkin patch and so much more. And the smell of fresh apple cider donuts can’t be beat! It’s definitely a popular place for SJU students to unwind and relax during the busy fall semester. You will always run into a few friends there. Especially during a pandemic, it’s nice to get out while staying safely physically distant. And even with the semester picking up and the stress of midterms, the cute little pumpkin I bought cheers up my study space. It’s a must-do fall activity here at SJU.

Marie DeCarlo (Biology): While the air gets cooler and more time is spent indoors, I always take advantage of fall to bake some sweet treats. I enjoy baking year-round, but there is something about fall time, whether it’s the cozy indoors or the wonderful aroma of cinnamon  and pumpkin baking away in the oven. Fall always gives me a sweet tooth! Some of my favorite recipes include pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, cookies, muffins and cinnamon rolls. There’s nothing better than coming in from a hike or pumpkin picking than taking a bite from some homemade pumpkin bread. One thing I have not been able to master yet is apple cider donuts, so for now I will still buy those from the local farms. Fall is the perfect time to indulge my sweet tooth and bake for all of my family and friends!

Katherine Commale (Biology): Although I am always sad to see the warm summer weather go, fall in Pennsylvania is truly one of the most beautiful times of the year. Especially as the leaves begin to change into a myriad of warm reds, yellows and oranges, my favorite fall activity is to go on scenic runs and hikes. Especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, I try to take a break from mostly online classes and go outside a few times a day. I really enjoy running through the quaint streets of the residential area on the Merion side of campus. As we approach Halloween and Thanksgiving, many of the homes display spooky decorations and pumpkins. I also love running alongside the Schuylkill River on Kelly Drive, and exploring the hundreds of trails within Wissahickon Valley Park. Soon enough, all of the leaves will fall and it will be too cold to enjoy time outside, so I really recommend taking advantage of these beautiful locations and fall weather while we still have it!

Kayla Flanders (Chemical Biology): As the leaves begin to change colors and the air gets cooler, heading into Center City is my favorite thing to do. Rittenhouse Square is a fantastic spot to visit at all times of the year, but when the seasons change, it’s especially fun to stop by on Saturday mornings for the pop-up farmers market. Tons of fresh produce like apples are sold, pastries like apple pie, and seasonal drinks like apple cider. There are also a ton of local coffee shops in the area if you want to try a new fall coffee. After shopping along Walnut Street, there are so many restaurants set up outdoors to try new dishes and enjoy the greenery, fountains and lights.

Lillie Bennett (Computer Science): My favorite fall tradition pre-COVID was volunteering for the Medieval Festival that takes place every year in the park across from my apartment building back home. The first time I stumbled upon the festival, I was very little and very new to New York City, but my family instantly knew we had found something incredible. After that year, my parents started Ye Olde Diaper Spot, a volunteer-run booth at the festival where parents could stop by to change their babies’ diapers and nurse them in privacy. My favorite part of volunteering at the festival was getting the chance to dress up in medieval clothing and seeing the little kids walk by in their costumes. A couple of times, little kids have even asked to take a picture of me because they think I’m a princess. Although this tradition can’t happen this year, I know as soon as I get the chance, I will be volunteering and dressing up like a princess again.